Category Archives: New Book

Marco Leonardi on the fate of the Italian labor market reforms & his new book

Marco Leonardi, economic advisor to two prime ministers in the Italian government from 2014 to 2018, has just published a new book on his experience in office during the Italian labor market reforms and the threatened future perspectives of those changes:

The hijacked reforms: why there is no coming back from labor and pension reform. Le Riforme Dimezzate, EGEA 2018 (in Italian).

Italy has passed three important reforms in the past four years—of the labor market, of the pension system and the introduction of a universal measure against poverty. All these reforms are already being undone, and yet this book explains, from the perspective of someone who worked within the Prime Minister’s policy unit, why there should not be any coming back from the main changes in the labor market and in the pension system.  

The author – The book – The Interview

The author

Marco Leonardi

Former Economic Adviser to the Prime Minister of the Italian Government and Full Professor of Economics at the University of Milan, Italy. He received his PhD from the London School of Economics and spent visiting periods at MIT, Georgetown and Berkeley. His research interests are in labor economics, inequality and education.

The book

To buy the book

“In this book I describe the birth of labor market reform from within the policy unit of the Prime Minister’s Office. In addition, I discuss two other major reforms undertaken in the past four years: the pension reform and the introduction of a universal measure against poverty. I approach these topics from both the political (how and why certain policy decisions were taken) and the technical perspective. I refer to the many (at times difficult) relations between the government and other administrations, as well as the unions, and the lengthy political and administrative process required to enact a law, from the first parliamentary draft up to the implementation of the software to request the new subsidy online (in the case of the new subsidy for the poor). No law produces real effects until the moment it is “online,” and several steps are required to reach that point. Very often the laws are ineffective because their implementation is flawed, and a policy unit’s job is to drive  the laws through their implementation process.

The most important reform has been the labor market reform (called the “Jobs Act”). This reform is recognized internationally because it was adopted amid the international debate on “flexsecurity” and the increasing protection of the open-ended contract (or single contract).

During the 1990s there was considerable continuity in the employment protection legislation of OECD countries, with one major exception: the deregulation of fixed-term contracts and other non-standard labor relationships. Particularly in Southern Europe, changes in labor market policy consisted mainly of measures aimed at introducing “flexibility at the margin,” that is, making the utilization of non-permanent contracts more loosely regulated while leaving the discipline of permanent employment unchanged. Flexibility at the margin, however, amplified the two-tier nature of labor markets, raising concerns over the risk of labor market “dualism” or “segmentation.” Triggered by these concerns, public opinion and policy-makers have repeatedly stressed the importance of searching for “an appropriate balance between flexibility and security” (the so-called “flexsecurity,” as pointed to by the European Commission in multiple documents).

The Jobs Act marks a stark change with respect to the approach to flexibility at the margin by reducing firing costs for permanent employment and by making them both (a) predictable ex ante and (b) increasing according to the worker’s tenure within the firm. By doing so, the Jobs Act aims at reducing dualism in the labor market, fostering human capital accumulation, increasing job mobility to cope with structural adjustment, and favoring workers’ protection “in the market.”

The most controversial aspect of the reform has certainly been the abolition of the possibility of a worker’s reinstatement (“reintegro”) after illegitimate dismissal for economic motives. This provision is limited to contracts signed after the reform (March 7, 2015) and entails a drastic limitation to the possibility of reinstatement, even in case of disciplinary dismissal. This substantial uniformity of firing costs for both disciplinary and economic cases is necessary to curb the incentive to surreptitiously justify dismissals so that they allow for reinstatement, an outcome that would have certainly increased the number of cases litigated in court. For consistency, the ability to reinstate workers has also been excluded for collective dismissals, as they have in essence an economic motivation. The abolition of the possibility of reinstatement has certainly given birth to a clear-cut reform, a fact that has been welcomed by international investors. Besides the new rules on firing costs, generous employment subsidies were introduced to incentivize the use of open-ended contracts.

Another qualifying aspect of the reform scheme is the introduction of a fast track for the settlement of dismissals (“conciliazione rapida”). The aim is to promote consensual resolution of disputed terminations (as well as other possible disputes). Contrary to other proposals for a “single contract” with increasing firing costs, which would have introduced non-appealable compensation, the reform scheme embraces the fast-track settlement model introduced by the German and French employment protection legislations. The latter, though, are different from the solution adopted in the Italian Jobs Act as they don’t bind the court to award compensation according to a predetermined schedule (which in the Jobs Act amounts to two months for each year of contract tenure, up to a maximum of 24 months).

Unfortunately, this feature of the reform was declared illegitimate after three years, in spring 2018, by the Italian Constitutional Court, and therefore today the reforms are “dimezzate” (or “hijacked”: the title of the book refers to the reversal of many reforms under the new government, of which this case is  among the most serious).

The success of the reform is measured by the reduction of court litigation in cases of dismissal (which was reduced by 80%, but unfortunately began to rise again after the decision of the Constitutional Court), and by the shortening of the amount of time young workers spend in temporary contracts (that is, the average length of the initial part of one’s career regulated by fixed-term contracts) and the resulting share of permanent hiring among total hires. The expected substitution of fixed-term contracts unfortunately has not happened: in 2014, roughly 70% of hiring was through fixed-term contracts, and only 17% open-ended; in 2015 and 2016, the share of open-ended contracts increased considerably, but in 2018, when the generous employment subsidies ended, the share of new hiring in open-ended contracts went back to the 2014 levels.

We made a mistake in allowing the coexistence of a very liberal regime for fixed-term contracts and of the new open-ended contract with increasing protection. Employers are reluctant to hire on open-ended contracts, and if left with the easy outlet of fixed-term contracts, they will not change their preferences. Furthermore, after having established a national system of active labor market policies to favor the reallocation of workers (after 20 years of debate, Italy finally has a national agency and a common measure to manage active labor market policies across 20 regions), we were too slow in the implementation process; as a result, public opinion has become aware of the more liberal regime on firings but not the new policy of support through active labor market policies.

While much of the reform process is now in reversal, when these very incisive labor market reforms were introduced they faced no opposition and Italy enjoyed four continuous years of employment growth (which has now been interrupted under the new government).

Further details of the labor market reforms and my suggestions regarding future action can be found in the interview below. Additional information on some of the other reforms, including pensions, wage bargaining and measures against poverty, can be found in the book, only available currently in Italian.”

The interview

GLO: What were the essential elements of the Italian labor market reforms?

Marco Leonardi: The main policy tools of the Jobs Act (and the main reversals under the new government since June 2018) can be summarized as follows:

First, “Contratto a tutele crescenti,” i.e., the open-ended contract for new hires (from March 7, 2015), which eliminates the possibility of a worker’s reinstatement after illegitimate dismissal for economic motives (the so-called “article 18”)  and embeds increasing monetary compensation in the case of separation. In this respect the Jobs Act marks a stark change with respect to the approach of flexibility at the margin (i.e., the tendency to liberalize the use of fixed-term contracts and leave open-ended contracts untouched by reforms) by reducing firing costs for permanent employment and by making them both predictable ex ante and increasing according to the worker’s tenure within the firm (two months for every month of tenure, starting from a minimum of four months and up to a maximum of 24 months). The Jobs Act is an example of “flexsecurity” in practice: it reduces dualism in the labor market and favors workers’ protection “in the market.”

Recently (in June 2018) the Constitutional Court declared illegitimate the rigid link between tenure and months of compensation in case of illegitimate firing, thus restoring the full discretion of judges in determining  the amount of compensation (this will make firing costs uncertain again and the hiring permanent workers less convenient).

Recently (in June 2018) the Constitutional Court declared illegitimate the rigid link between tenure and months of compensation in case of illegitimate firing, thus restoring the full discretion of judges in determining  the amount of compensation (this will make firing costs uncertain again and the hiring permanent workers less convenient).

Second, restrictions on self-employment arrangements (“co.co.co.,” “co.co.pro.,” etc.) used in the past to hire dependent workers while saving on both firing costs and social security contributions. In the three years during which the reforms were applied (2015–2018) we witnessed an increase in dependent employment and a decrease in the number of self-employed workers (from a record share of 25% of total employment): most of them took up a fixed-term contract but some of them transitioned to an open-ended contract, exploiting the very generous tax break for open-ended contracts activated in 2015 and 2016. Under the new government this trend has been reversed by a combination of three factors: the limits set by the new government on fixed-term contracts; the sentence of the Constitutional Court which has rendered dependent permanent employment contracts less convenient; and new tax breaks exclusively for the self-employed, which will soon cause the composition of employment to revert to a large share of self-employed.

Third, the reform of unemployment benefits, which have been extended both in terms of eligibility criteria and maximum coverage length, and the concurrent reduction of the short-time work compensation scheme that subsidizes employers that reduce hours of work during a temporary period of falling demand. The unemployment benefit reform aims to make benefits more generous and long-lasting and to include those with discontinuous or uneven employment histories. The reform of 2015 extended the benefits period to exactly half the number of weeks of contribution, up to 24 months. Employees can activate their individual right to a benefit if they have contributed for at least 13 weeks over the previous four years; this criterion has significantly relaxed the contributions requirement and has increased the number of potential beneficiaries to more than 95% of the employed population. The current government has not touched the benefits reform, but it has gone back to a generous regime of subsidies for firms that reduce hours of work. A generous short-time work scheme with loose rules on contributions risks keeping “zombie” firms alive for too long and keeping workers attached to them with little incentive to search for a new job.

Finally, fourth: Reform of active labor market policies, with the establishment of a national agency to coordinate the work of the regions (which have the competence over active labor market policies) and of a “re-training and placement voucher” (i.e., a voucher for placement services provided by both public and private operators), which introduces a quasi-market approach in active labor market policies. Unfortunately, the reform of active labor market policies never actually took off. The popular referendum, which should have moved the competence from the regions to the central state, failed, and the regions are jealous of their autonomy, with the result that the performance of the services is very patchy across Italy.

GLO: What are your recommendations for effective and successful labor reform policies?

Marco Leonardi:  Use your political capital fast on your priorities, compensate unpopular reforms with popular ones and spend money to make reforms effective.

First, when you win an election, you may want to use your political capital immediately on your priorities before it is depleted. I think that the absence of strikes during the reform of the labor market was due to the “surprise” effect. Unions were prudent and waited to see what a young new leader of the center-left would bring about. If you aim at important issues (such as removing article 18) you may hope the reforms will endure, but you should expect that the next government will at least want to change the names of things in order to get credit for them.

Second, compensate for unpopular reforms with popular ones. We compensated for firing cost reforms with more unemployment benefits and active labor market policies. Unfortunately, we did not do enough on active labor market policies and we got the timing wrong: active labor market policies should have come prior to firing cost reform, because first you offer the carrot and then the stick and because active labor market policies require a long implementation period and the interaction of various actors: public employment services, the regional governments and private employment agencies.

Third, spend money to make reforms effective. We accompanied the abolition of article 18 with two dedicated measures in the 2015 budget law: (a) a three-year tax break for social security contributions, and (b) a corporate tax (IRAP) cut on labor costs applicable only to permanent contracts. This meant creating a cost wedge between permanent and temporary contracts. Conventional wisdom has it that one of the best ways to make the former more appealing is to make it cheaper than the latter. A generous tax break made a difference by incentivizing the use of permanent contracts and encouraged the perception that the reform was working.

GLO: What is your advice for the current phase of anti-reform sentiments?

Marco Leonardi: There could be two reasons why people seem to be adverse to reforms in many countries. The first might be because the reforms did not work or because they did not work for all in the same way. To make reforms work we need to focus on implementation: you may do less, but what you do must affect people’s lives in a simple way. Politicians often forget that somebody must take care of all the details of the implementation. Let’s take the example of a new measure against poverty for which the beneficiaries must fill in a new request module. Somebody must follow all the administrative processes that bring the law into effect, from the first parliamentary draft up to the implementation of the software to request the new subsidy online. No law produces real effects until the moment it is “online,” and there are several steps that must be taken to achieve this, including the involvement of the many administrations that have to do with the measure at various steps. Very often the laws are ineffective because their implementation is flawed, and a policy unit’s job is to watch over the laws until their implementation is complete.

The second issue regards the distribution of benefits. Many reforms are perceived as targeted at a few people rather than at everyone. In our time, when information is available to everybody through many of the same channels (TV and social media), it is important to stress the redistributive characteristics of all policy measures. In our case, the reform of the labor market occurred concurrently with a significant increase in the number of employed people (probably in part due to the reform itself), and yet people perceived the precariousness of the new jobs that had been created rather than their number. We should have highlighted more the redistributive feature of the reform (more people having a chance to find a job) rather than merely the increase in the number of those employed.

GLO: Thank you very much. (Questions by Klaus F. Zimmermann)

Marco Leonardi & Klaus F. Zimmermann

Ends;

GLO-Interview with Alfredo Toro Hardy about his new book on the Latin American view of the future of globalization

The book: The Crossroads of Globalization. A Latin American View. December 2018, 232 pages: World Scientific. More Info.

The author: Alfredo Toro Hardy. GLO Fellow, Venezuelan Scholar and Diplomat. More Info.

The Interviewer: Klaus F. Zimmermann/GLO President. Hardy and Zimmermann have been both Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Resident Scholars in Fall 2017. Zimmermann has written the Preface in the book: Text.

Alfredo Toro Hardy and Klaus F. Zimmermann enjoying a lovely evening in the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center in 2017

GLO: Globalization seems to be under political pressure around the globe. How does it affect Latin America?

Alfredo Toro Hardy: Two powerful forces are measuring their strength by acting upon globalization.  One of them pushes globalization forward, while the other hinders its advance and promotes its demise. At this point in time, it is not clear which of them will end up prevailing.

China’s economic umbrella and Asia’s middle class, whose expansion is estimated to represent 80 percent of the world’s middle class increase up to 2030, remain as the fundamental driving forces of globalization. On the other hand, though, we find populism and the displacement that disruptive technologies bring with them. While populism creates boundaries and discourages free trade, the Fourth Industrial Revolution advances towards a decoupling between developed and developing economies. Under these two very different but converging impulses, globalization is bound to loose ground.

Uncertainty hinders Latin America’s strategic vision. If the future entailed a re-launching of globalization, it would seem obvious that the region should follow along its lines, positioning itself in the best possible terms so as to increase its potential benefits. However, if globalization is entering into a declining phase, Latin America would need to look for options.

Latin America faces, therefore, not only a dramatic uncertainty as a result of forces beyond its control, but also the need to anticipate, to the best of its abilities, unforeseen events to which it will have to act or react upon.

GLO: How can Latin America adapt best in the future?

Alfredo Toro Hardy: As said, Latin America finds itself at the crossroads of the pro and the anti globalization forces. Were the rules of the game to change now, the region would certainly suffer. Uncertainty, however, is an even greater challenge because positioning itself and planning ahead amid conflicting signs, becomes extremely difficult.

Globalization emerged as a result of political intention and technological feasibility. Now, it finds itself seriously challenged for the very same reasons. In both cases, political intention and technological feasibility are clearly identified with developed economies. 

What kind of route map can Latin America follow amid this confusing situation? To begin with, it is necessary to analyze the forces that push for and against globalization, trying to measure their respective strength, convergence capacity, and potential impact. This requires, at the same time, looking into the flaws, weaknesses and contradictions of such forces. With these elements in hand, it might be easier to envisage where the trends are leading to and, by extension, where Latin America might end up standing.

However, there seems to be no alternative to playing in both directions, with the aim of minimizing costs and maximizing opportunities. Within this highly fluid situation, pragmatism, resilience, creativeness, imagination, and the joining together of Latin American forces, will have to guide the region’s actions in the foreseeable future.

GLO: What are the challenges for globalization to become profitable for Latin America?

Alfredo Toro Hardy: The curious equation formed by protectionism, populism, political rage, algorithms, deep learning, robots, 3D printing, nanotechnology, indoor and vertical farming, an emerging post animal food industry, and renewable energy, among other elements, may end up suctioning the oxygen of globalization. It is not only that trade barriers emerge, but that it will make no sense to look for cheaper manufactures, products or services afar, when it would become possible to generate them locally at competitive prices.

A decoupling world economy, like the one that may emerge under such equation, presents no benefit for Latin America. Finding a path under such scenario would become extremely stressful and challenging. However, globalization has not been a rose garden for the region. Much to the contrary, it has imposed upon it the need to reconvert into labor-intensive manufacturing or to go back in time to commodities producing. Both of those options have being far from satisfactory.

A globalization that becomes profitable for Latin America would entail the possibility of overcoming such limitations, while opening a path towards a much more international service oriented economy and a more value added manufacturing. Unfortunately, at this point in time options are narrowing not widening.

The book

Ends;

GLO Fellow Alfredo Toro Hardy Explains ‘The Crossroads of Globalization’ from a Latin American Perspective.

In his new book just published in December 2018, Alfredo Toro Hardy, Venezuelan Scholar and Diplomat as well as a Fellow of the Global Labor Organization (GLO), explains his views about the perspectives of Latin America at the crossroads of globalization. Currently, globalization seems to be in decline all over the globe. However, if the future would see a revival, it seems plausible that Latin America should continue its current pace of following it. However, if globalization would continue to decline, the region would need to find other options. The book evaluates the risks and outlines the options. MORE DETAILS.

Ambassador Alfredo Toro Hardy
Venezuelan Scholar and GLO Fellow

The Preface to the book has been provided by Klaus F. Zimmermann, who is the President of the GLO. He writes in the book:

“As so often in the history of mankind, the fate of globalization is currently at stake. It looks that, again, the world is at a crossroad between development or contraction. The economic and political polarizations within or between countries, the rise of populism and in the number of instable democracies, the tensions resulting from migration, inequality, robotization and the demands of emerging economies like China, India and (perhaps) Brazil require attention. Protectionism, EU-skepticism, nationalism, racism, and rejections of economic multilateralism and multicultural approaches are more and more important again. Only few critical observers of the world are not concerned about the current strength and the unclear directions of the driving forces behind which are only slowly understood.

            Globalization is much more than the persistent global integration of the flow of goods, capital and labor. It also merges cultures and enforces permanent and immediate exchange of knowledge and sentiments. Latin America was once forced into globalization and moved in unprepared, stumbling. It survived by adapting. It is an export-based economy. Moving out is likely to be very costly in economic terms. Is this unavoidable or are there alternatives?

            Globalization, as is widely perceived, mainly benefits liberal democracies. But is this really true? The Chinese pro-globalization strategy certainly questions this position. And if globalization collapses in parts of the world, does it make sense to follow like lemmings. Or is it not better to go on as much as possible, making use of the potentials of globalization? In other words, if the United Kingdom wants Brexit, why should the remaining European Union give up its ambitions?

            Globalization will not end, since economic advantages and constraints will enforce its rise, as it materialized over the entire history of mankind. The rise of homo sapiens over thousands of years has taken place due to a superior brain, excellent language abilities and a tremendous talent to collaborate. But, of course, mistakes of humans as of political and social organizations can cause a break of further globalization for some time. In many ways, the current world is not much more open than it was before World War I. In any case: Those nations and continents ignoring historical lessons will eventually fall behind.

            Alfredo Toro Hardy offers us some advanced training. The author of this book deserves significant attention: After a long and successful career as top diplomat, ambassador and global scholar, he is exploiting his deep knowledge and experience acquired over a worklife to tackle some of the most pressing issues of our time.

            I have had the privilege to learn him and his lovely wife during a joint tenure as a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Resident Scholar in 2017. During this period, we have had many inspiring and fruitful exchanges about the future of our worlds and the challenges of life. I have always been impressed by his deep insights in complex issues and his balanced views on controversial or even explosive topics.

            In his unique way, Alfredo Toro Hardy, develops the perspectives of his continent in this world at the crossroads as the Voice of Latin America. Chapter by chapter, he sharpens our views for the challenges to come and the strengths, Latin America is able to mobilize. What is the right path for the continent? As the author states (p. 388): “Fast moving nations, indeed, appeared to be the better prepared to take advantage from a rapidly moving global market-place.” It is ‘flexibility, stupid’, making the difference. Investing in the technological advances in the fields of knowledge transfer, communications and transportations still make sense. And the continent needs to embrace, not to fight the upcoming digital economy.

            Hence, Alfredo Toro Hardy suggests that (p. 393) “pragmatism, resilience, creativeness, imagination, and the joining together of Latin American forces, will have to guide the region’s actions in the foreseeable future.” This implies to develop the integration of the Latin American markets even further through free trade agreements while keeping open to the global economy, in particular to the European Union. Certainly, institutions like the Inter-American Development Bank and the Economic Commission for Latin America can be instruments to foster the process.

Klaus F. Zimmermann , President of the Global Labor Organization, Professor Emeritus, Bonn University, UNU-MERIT & Maastricht University, Rockefeller Foundation Policy Fellow 2017″

Ends;

How gender and family types shape wealth and homeownership: New book from Palgrave Macmillan

Two Fellows of the Global Labor Organization (GLO) have just published a new study on “Wealth and Homeownership: Women, Men and Families” with the prominent publisher Palgrave Macmillan. In this timely book, Mariacristina Rossi and Eva Sierminska analyze the complex relationship between gender, wealth and homeownership. By providing a conceptual framework to insert homeownership and housing decisions within an economic rationale, the authors explore how gender and family types have shaped wealth accumulation and homeownership.​

MORE DETAILS – Content and Order

GLO Fellow Mariacristina Rossi is Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Turin, Italy. Her research interests include intertemporal saving and consumption choices, household finance, development and gender economics.


GLO Fellow Mariacristina Rossi

GLO Fellow Eva M. Sierminska is Senior Researcher at the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research, Luxembourg. She is a labor economist and has extensive research experience in the area of labor markets, inequality, household finance and population economics.


GLO Fellow Eva M. Sierminska


Ends;

Book Series “Population Economics”: Contributions Invited

The Editors of the Journal of Population Economics are also editing the Springer book series in “Population Economics”. Researchers working on human resources issues are invited to send book proposals to the publisher at Springer, Martina Nolte-Bohres (Martina.Nolte-Bohres@springer.com). The Global Labor Organization (GLO) supports the Journal of Population Economics.

 

Population Economics

Editor-in-Chief: Klaus F. Zimmermann
Editors: Alessandro Cigno, Erdal Tekin, Junsen Zhang
Managing Editor: Michaella Vanore

 

 

 

  • Covers pressing topics of our time, such as migration, population aging, employment,health, and economic growth
  • The series is useful as handbooks for policymakers as weil as for students and teachers of graduate and postgraduate courses
  • Treats both theoretical and empirical aspects
  • Written by the leading scholars in the field, employing the latest research methodologies

Research on population economics deals with some of the most pertinent issues of our time and, as such, is of interest to academics and policymakers alike. Like the Journal of Population Economics, the book series “Population Economics” addresses a wide range of theoretical and empirical topics related to all areas of the economics of population, household, and human resources. Books in the series comprise work that closely examines special topics related to population economics, incorporating the most recent developments in the field and the latest research methodologies. Micro-level investigations include topics related to individual, household or family behavior, such as migration, aging, household formation, marriage, divorce, fertility choices, labor supply, health, and risky behavior. Macro-level inquiries examine topics such as economic growth with exogenous or endogenous population evolution, population policy, savings and pensions, social security, housing, and healthcare. These and other topics related to the relationship between population dynamics and public choice, economic approaches to human biology, and the impact of population on income and wealth distributions have important individual, social, and institutional consequences, and their scientific examination informs both economic theory and public policy.

Keywords:  >Population Economics > Household and Family Economics > Labour Economics >Human Resources >Migration Economics

Recently published books:

A. Yakita: Population Aging, Fertility and Social Security

C. Diebolt, F. Perrin: Understanding Demographie Transitions. An Overview of French Historical Statistics

A. Artal-Tur, G. Peri, F. Requena-Silvente (Eds.): The Socio-Economic Impact of Migration Flows Effects on Trade, Remittances, Output, and the Labour Market

 

 

 

Ends;

GLO President Zimmermann meets MP Andrew Leigh in Canberra to discuss the merits of openness.

Discussion with MP Andrew Leigh on Globalism and his new book “Choosing Openness. Why global engagement is best for Australia” Penguin Books, Lowy Institute for International Policy 2017 (183 pages).

On December 8, 2017, GLO President Klaus F. Zimmermann met Andrew Leigh in his office in Canberra to discuss the merits of openness for Australia and the World, and the mission of the Global Labor Organization (GLO).

GLO Fellow Andrew Leigh is the Shadow Assistant Treasurer and Federal Member for Fenner. Prior to entering the Australian Parliament in 2010, he was a Professor of Economics at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra. Andrew Leigh holds a PhD from Harvard University and is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences.

As Leigh and Zimmermann agree, global engagement has become a major political fault line around the world, where some argue that trade, investment and migration are threats rather than opportunities. The challenges to an open world are generated by global uncertainty, rising inequality and populism. In his book, Andrew Leigh argues that Australia’s past prosperity has been the result of engaging with the world, a view that complements the evaluation of global economic progress by the GLO President, and is in line with the GLO mission. Not less, but more openness is required in the future for capital, goods, and people to stabilize and foster prosperity.

The Book:

The two men after the discussion in front of the office of Andrew Leigh (left).

Ends;

The Economics of Population Aging

Now the key resource of the field!

Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, Volumes 1A and 1B

Edited by GLO – Fellows John Piggott and Alan Woodland. Both are at the Australian School of Business, University of New South Wales,  Australia.

  • Dissolves the barriers between policymakers and scholars by presenting comprehensive portraits of social and theoretical issues
  • Synthesizes valuable data on the topic from a variety of journals dating back to the late 1970s in a convenient, comprehensive resource
  • Presents diverse perspectives on subjects that can be closely associated with national and regional concerns
  • Offers comprehensive, critical reviews and expositions of the essential aspects of the economics of population aging

Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging synthesizes the economic literature on aging and the subjects associated with it, including social insurance and healthcare costs, both of which are of interest to policymakers and academics. These volumes, the first of a new subseries in the Handbooks in Economics, describe and analyze information from general economics journals, from various field journals in economics, especially, but not exclusively, those covering labor markets and human resource issues, from interdisciplinary social science and life science journals, and from papers by economists published in journals associated with gerontology, history, sociology, political science, and demography, among others.

Table of Contents

Volume A

  1. The Global Demography of Ageing: Facts, Explanations, Future: David E. Bloom and Dara Lee Luca
  2. Macroeconomics, Aging and Growth: Ronald Lee
  3. Migration and Demographic Shift:  Anzelika Zaiceva and Klaus F. Zimmermann
  4. Global Demographic Trends: Consumption, Saving and International Capital Flows: Orazio Attanasio, Andrea Bonfatti, Sagiri Kitao and Guglielmo Weber
  5. Insurance Markets for the Elderly: Hanming Fang
  6. Intergenerational Risk Sharing: Roel Beetsma and Ward Romp
  7. The Political Economy of Population Ageing: Georges Casamatta and Loïc Batté

Volume B

  1. Retirement Incentives and Labor Supply: Richard Blundell, Eric French and Gemma Tetlow
  2. Investing and Portfolio Allocation for Retirement: Barbara Kaschützke and Raimond Maurer
  3. Conflict and Cooperation within the Family, and between the State and the Family, in the Provision of Old-Age Security: Alessandro Cigno
  4. Complex Decision Making: The Roles of Cognitive Limitations, Cognitive Decline and Ageing: Michael Keane and Susan Thorp
  5. Taxation, Pensions and Demographic Change: Alan Woodland
  6. Social Security and Public Insurance: Axel Börsch-Supan, Klaus Härtl and Nuno Leite
  7. Workplace-Linked Pensions for an Aging Demographic: Olivia S. Mitchell and John Piggott
  8. Poverty and Aging: Joseph Marchand and Timothy Smeeding
  9. Health and Long-Term Care: Edward C. Norton
  10. The HRS around the World Surveys: Loretti Isabella Dobrescu and James P. Smith

 For more information, see:

https://www.elsevier.com/books/handbook-of-the-economics-of-population-aging/piggott/978-0-444-63405-4

Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780444634054, 9780444634047

Ends;

Understanding Latin America: GLO Fellow Alfredo Toro Hardy provides the decoding guide.

NEW THIS WEEK: Venezuelan Diplomat and Scholar Alfredo Toro Hardy, Fellow of the Global Labor Organization (GLO), explains Latin America in his new book (Understanding Latin America. A Decoding Guide, World Scientific, 2017).

From afar, Latin America looks like a blurry tableau: devoid of defining lines, particularities and nuances. Little is understood about the idiosyncrasies of Latin-Americans, their cultural identity and social values. Differences between Brazilians and Spanish Americans, or amid the diverse Spanish American countries, are not sufficiently understood. Even less is known about the amplitude of the Iberian heritage of such countries, or about the miscegenation and acculturation processes that took place among their different constitutive races. There is no clarity regarding the Western nature of Latin America or about its cultural affinities with Latin Europe. Nor is there sufficient understanding of the links between the Latin population of the United States and the inhabitants of Latin America.

This book’s aims to fill the gap by focusing on Latin America’s history, culture, identity and
idiosyncrasies. It serves as a guide to understand regional attitudes, meanings and behavioral differences of the region. It also analyses the present economic situation of the region, while trying to predict the future of the region. Written in a simple and accessible manner, this book will be of interest to readers keen on exploring the region for potential opportunities in trade, investment or any other kind of business and cultural endeavor.

 

Leaflet

Understanding Latin America: More information & How to order the book

Leaflet Understanding Latin America.

GLO Fellow Alfredo Toro Hardy is a Venezuelan diplomat and scholar. Graduated in Law from the Central University of Venezuela with several master and postgraduate degrees from ENA, University of Paris II, Central University, the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University. Career diplomat who has served, among other posts, as Director of the Diplomatic Academy of the Venezuelan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ambassador to Brazil, Chile, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, and Singapore. Director of the Center for North American Studies and Coordinator of the Institute for Higher Latin American Studies of the Simón Bolívar University (1989-1992). Elected “Simon Bolívar Chair Professor for Latin American Studies” by the Council of Faculties of the University of Cambridge for the academic year 2006-2007. Member of the Advising Committee of the Diplomatic Academy of London (2003-2008). Fulbright Scholar and Visiting Professor at Princeton University (1986-1987). Author or coauthor of 30 books and more than 30 academic papers on international affairs.

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